The 10 most in-demand programming languages of 2018


Developers remain among the most in-demand roles in the tech community, and those skilled in the right programming languages can command salaries of over $100,000. But as the popularity of many coding languages rise and fall over time, it’s important to know where to target your learning to gain the best job prospects, according to a Friday report from job search site Indeed.

Indeed analyzed US job postings in the tech software category, and determined which programming languages were most in-demand by employers between May and August 2018. The coding languages were ranked based on the percentage of job postings within the tech software category on Indeed that contained their name.

SEE: IT Hiring Kit: Programmer (Tech Pro Research)

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Here are the 10 most in-demand programming languages in that timeframe, and the percentage of Indeed job postings that mention them:

1. Java

30% of job postings

At the top of the list, Java is used by millions of developers and billions of devices worldwide. Java is the official language of Android development, and 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Java as a server-side language for back-end development, according to an analysis from Coding Dojo. Developers who know Java are often employed as software engineers, software architects, and DevOps engineers, according to TechRepublic’s Nick Heath.

SEE: Job description: Java developer (Tech Pro Research)

2. Javascript

26% of job postings

JavaScript is used by more than 80% of developers and by 95% of all websites for any dynamic logic on their pages, according to Coding Dojo. Several front-end frameworks for JavaScript–like React and AngularJS–will be increasingly used to power Internet of Things (IoT) devices, so it’s unlikely that the language will drop in popularity any time soon. Popular jobs for Java developers include web developer, full-stack developer, and front-end developer.


18% of job postings

HTML is a foundational language that was ranked as the easiest programming language to learn by WP Engine. Created in 1990, this markup language is one of the primary tools for creating standard web pages and applications across any browser.

4. Python

17% of job postings

Python is commonly used in scientific computing, data mining, and machine learning. It’s the fastest-growing programming language, and Stack Overflow predicts that by 2019, Python will significantly outstrip other languages in terms of active developers. The language is also one of the easiest to learn, thanks to its high readability and simple syntax, according to WP Engine. Common job roles for Python developers are data engineer, full-stack developer, and software engineer.

SEE: Hiring kit: Python developer (Tech Pro Research)

5. C#

15% of job postings

C# is an object-oriented language from Microsoft, designed to run on the .NET platform, that is also used in video game development and building Windows desktop applications. It is well-documented, relatively easy to learn, and features many useful software libraries for developers to access, Heath noted. Typical jobs for C# developers include full-stack developer, .NET developer, and web developer.

6. C++

12% of job postings

C++ is typically used for system/application software, game development, drivers, client-server applications and embedded firmware. Though many programmers find C++ to be complex, and might prefer Python or JavaScript, it remains in use in many legacy systems at large enterprises, according to Coding Dojo. C++ developers commonly work as embedded engineers, games engine software engineers, and system software developers.

7. XML

9% of job postings

XML stands for “eXtensible Markup Language,” and is similar to HTML in many ways. It was designed to store and transport data, and to be self-descriptive.

8. Ruby

6% of job postings

Ruby is a dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity. The web application framework Ruby on Rails surged in popularity in the early 2000s, as it allowed developers to build and launch applications quickly. However, it has since plummeted in popularity among job postings, leading some coding schools to remove it from their courses. However, it did rise from no. 9 on Indeed’s list of in-demand programming languages last year to no. 8 this year.

9. PHP

5% of job postings

PHP is an old and often-criticized language, Heath noted, that is widely used across the web for web pages and apps. Developers often use this scripting language to add functions that HTML can’t handle, or to interact with MySQL databases. PHP still underpins many popular CMS systems like WordPress, and is used by Google and Facebook, Heath said. Typical jobs for those who know PHP are web developer and WordPress PHP developer.

10. Perl

4% of job postings

Though it ranked at the bottom of the list, Perl remains popular for system and network administrators, and as a glue language, according to Coding Dojo. Perl began dropping in demand in terms of jobs in 2008, but it still has a number of loyal users, Stack Overflow noted.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Java, JavaScript, HTML, and Python are the most in-demand programming languages for US jobs. — Indeed, 2018
  • Ruby, PHP, and Perl round out the bottom of the top 10. — Indeed, 2018

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